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From Middle English gravey, greavie, gravy; probably from greaves, graves (the sediment of melted tallow), or from Old French grave, a claimed misspelling of grané (stew, spice), from grain (spice).


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡɹeɪvi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪvi


gravy (usually uncountable, plural gravies)

Poutine, a Canadian dish of French fries, curds and gravy.
Biscuits and gravy, a popular meal in the American South.
  1. (countable, uncountable) A thick sauce made from the fat or juices that come out from meat or vegetables as they are being cooked.
    1. A dark savoury sauce prepared from stock and usually meat juices; brown gravy.
      A roast dinner isn't complete without gravy.
    2. (Southern US) A pale sauce prepared from a roux with meat fat; a type of béchamel sauce.
      There are few foods more Southern than biscuits and gravy.
  2. (uncountable, Italian-American) Sauce used for pasta.
  3. (uncountable, India, Singapore) Curry sauce.
    • 1879, The Sunday at Home, Volume 26, page 342:
      With this the hostess poured two or three spoonfuls of the gravy of the curry on to the rice opposite to each person.
    • 1906, Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, "Pa Senik and his Son-in-Law Awang", Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, page 59-60:
      Now it seems that Pa Senik was a little deaf. Awang noticed that his father-in-law sometimes poured the gravy of his curry on his rice and that sometimes he sucked it up.
    • 1992, Khammān Khonkhai, The Teachers of Mad Dog Swamp
      This is strained with a piece of cloth or a strainer and the green liquid forms the gravy of the curry.
    • 2007, Geok Boi Lee, Classic Asian Noodles, Marshall Cavendish →ISBN, page 158
      Return flaked fish to curry gravy and bring to the boil.
  4. (uncountable, informal) Unearned gain.
  5. (uncountable, informal) Extra benefit.
    The first thousand tickets and the concessions cover the venue and the band. The rest is gravy.


For quotations using this term, see Citations:gravy.

Derived termsEdit


  • Welsh: grefi



gravy (third-person singular simple present gravies, present participle gravying, simple past and past participle gravied)

  1. To make gravy.
    • 1907, Edmond Raymond Moras, Autology (Study Thyself) and Autopathy (Cure Thyself) (page 67)
      I mean simply this — that the process of canning and preserving or of gravying and saucing frequently removes the most vitally essential acids and salts []
    • 2013, Ivan Doig, Bucking the Sun (page 103)
      Dola and another woman were so busy frying and grilling and buttering and gravying that they didn't even notice Bruce's existence.

See alsoEdit


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of gravey



Unadapted borrowing from English gravy.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡɾeibi/, [ˈɡɾei̯.β̞i]


gravy m (uncountable)

  1. gravy

Usage notesEdit

According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.